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King tried to bribe us–Witnesses

Posted by By BIYI ADEGOROYE on 2006/08/28 | Views: 627 |

King tried to bribe us–Witnesses


Witnesses in the soon to begin murder trial of Emeka Ezeuko King, the infamous general overseer of Christain Praying Assembly, have confirmed pressures on them to recant their earlier statements to the police implicating the pastor.

Witnesses in the soon to begin murder trial of Emeka Ezeuko King, the infamous general overseer of Christain Praying Assembly, have confirmed pressures on them to recant their earlier statements to the police implicating the pastor.

But they swore to Saturday Sun that no amount of money can make them alter their statements against King, as that would have amounted to their friend, Ann, dying in vain.

The declaration came on the heels of alleged relentless moves by relations of the pastor and some members of the church to get him off the hook by all means.

Speaking to Saturday Sun, the duo of Jessica and Chiejine Olisa vowed that, “it would not only amount to a big betrayal for any of us to take bribe, but also too myopic on our part to yield to influence either monetary or otherwise.

If we take the money to change the whole statements, claiming the whole thing was a frame up in order to set King free, then our colleague, Ann would have died in vain.”
Asked whether they were aware of any inducement, Olisa in particular declared that many overtures have been made at him, but that he would never budge. “Initially, a brother of his, Chuka Ezeuko, met me at the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), stating we could talk these things over. That we could get settled, but I’m not interested.”

Speaking in a similar vein, Vivien and another female victim confirmed the offer made to them by some close associates of the embattled pastor. When our reporter visited women’s wing of Kirikiri prisons during the week, Kelechi also mentioned a similar move.

‘It’s the battle of my life’
Olisa described the whole thing as the battle of his life. “It is a life and death matter, which must be pursued to its logical conclusion. This is the time when integrity and personal pride should be accorded the pride of place in our lives. It will be so shameful for us to backdown now. Who will accept blood money anyway?”
Olisa said the issue was not all about money, but the moral and criminal implications of his actions, especially as a pastor who assaulted them, brainwashed thousands of followers, broke up many marriages and without remorse, ultimately snuffed life out of one of their colleagues.
“This is a man who used God’s name as a platform for evil deeds. He not only accused people of fornication which they never did, but also exploited them sexually and set them ablaze, only to claim they were victims of fire outbreak in the generating set room. So there is nothing monetary influence can do in the face of the intimidating evidence against him.”
Expressing aversion for the desperation to set King free, Olisa lamented the lack of human sympathy on the part of those offering the financial inducement. “We are talking of somebody’s daughter here, somebody’s life. That girl has a father and relatives. They are not talking about them, rather they are fighting tooth and nail to set their brother free. Isn’t that selfish and wicked?”

‘We lost over six years of our lives’
The six witnesses, most of whom are graduates, who served King for over six years, said their pains became even more excruciating by the memory of the loss of those productive years of their lives and everything they had. They wondered what ‘settlement’ could assuage the sufferings and deprivation of years spent in the church as King’s personal staff and devotees.
“When I joined the church on the invitation of a friend, I was doing well in my clearing business. But shortly thereafter,he brought me closer to him, giving me the publicity jobs of the church. I handled most of his television editing while my colleague, Jessica, who abandoned her own employment, was in charge of tracts and billboards.”
We executed most of these jobs with our money, while sometimes, he underwrote the cost of some of them. But as at the time of his arrest, he was still owing me about N250,000. My colleagues are owed different sums of money”.

How he broke up marriages
Though Ebele Obi, one of King’s lawyers, claimed some female members of the church instituted divorce suites against their husbands on their own volition, Olisa insisted King broke up many marriages. “A lot of women are in that church today without their husbands. He has created enemity between them and their husbands. He told them many times that anyone who loves her husband more than him is not worthy to be his follower”- an application of Jesus’s statement to himself.
“It was either the woman would leave her husband to follow King or leave King to follow her husband. That is the indoctrination. Take the case of Edwin Akugbue, whose wife and five children have been separated from him on the orders of the pastor. The man has been running helter skelter since then. The reason is that the pastor directed Mrs. Akugbue on what should be done.
“This was a man who abducted his cousin’s wife. When the police came for him to liberate the womanhe accused them of stealing the sum of N5.5million from his house, which was all false. We are also aware of his sexual escapade with some of the women, including some pastors’ wives and even the girls until some of them opened up after his arrest”.
He said right on the pulpit, King had the practice of branding former members who left after their wives’ sexual exploitations as ‘black legs’, thereby instigating the whole congregation against such people.
“That is why I insist that King must face the wrath of the law. He used to claim he was above the law, that he could do anything and get away with it. He has told us that from the pulpit many times. That he could even disappear if he found himself in an enclosure or at worst, pushed to the wall.”

Body of evidence
Olisa who said the fact that the body of evidence is already with the police and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions further ruled out any possiblity of altering statements. “Everything is before them, and if they need more, we can supply them. I am happy the police have taken photographs of the the said genenerating set which was observed to be i tact- thereby disputing King’s claims.”
On King’s lawyer’s claim that the victims vandalised the church’s wharehouse, Olisa said that was an impossibility because people who were actually running for their lives had no time to visit the wharehouse to steal goods.

‘Raises alarm over Kelechi’s health’
Olisa, however, regretted that Kelechi’s health has been in danger- a situation further worsened by the fact that a female member of the church a and strong ally of King identified as Chika who works at the welfare section of the Kirikiri Prisions, where she is detained may have been exacting some presssure on her.
“I’m also aware that King’s lawyer visits Kelechi there. The whole scenario is dangerous. These people should be stopped from gaining access to her. That is where my fear is. These people may exert much pressure on her to change her statement and claim the one she gave earlier were obtained under duress.”
He called on the government and the police to give Kelechi adequate protection, “because the girl knows much about this matter. That is the more reason she needs protection”.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.